The United States and the United Kingdom have expressed their concern over the diplomatic row between India and Canada, which has resulted in the departure of 41 Canadian diplomats from India. The dispute stems from the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in Canada, which Ottawa has alleged was carried out with Indian involvement.
Canada has accused India of violating the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which provides for the safety and security of diplomats. India has denied any role in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot dead in a Vancouver suburb in June. India has also called Nijjar a “terrorist” who was involved in several attacks in India.
The US State Department and the UK Foreign Office have urged India not to insist on a reduction in Canada’s diplomatic presence and to cooperate with Canada in the ongoing investigation. They have also said that they take Canada’s allegations seriously and expect India to uphold its obligations under the Vienna Convention.
Canada has temporarily suspended in-person operations at its consulates in several Indian cities and warned of visa processing delays. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that India is making it “unbelievably difficult” for Canada to maintain its diplomatic relations.
The diplomatic row has strained the ties between India and Canada, which are both members of the Commonwealth and have a large diaspora of Indian origin.